Tag Archives: selfishness

A Thorn in My Flesh or the Sin of Selfishness–Letting God Fill My Broken Spirit

I haven’t written in here for over a week. My family was going through some things that made our situation unstable. Now that my husband has a permanent, full-time job, things should be more stable, and I will have more time to concentrate on writing.

I’ve been thinking about sins lately and how they’re talked about in Scripture. Or you could say God has been convicting me. We’re all familiar with the “big” sins mentioned in the Ten Commandments. “Don’t kill; don’t steal; don’t commit adultery; don’t covet anything belonging to your neighbor; don’t have any other gods before me.” I’m paraphrasing, of course, and there are more things stated in this portion of Scripture.

That’s not where I’m going with this though. I’ve been looking at other Scripture from Psalm 51 and 2 Corinthians 12, and God is convicting me of another sin, one that isn’t mentioned, the sin of selfishness. Actually, I’m not sure if this is a sin or a thorn in my flesh like it talks about in 2 Corinthians, but it is something that God has laid on my heart.

First, let me quote the Scripture. Psalm 51:10-12 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

These words have wedged themselves in my heart, into the very edges of my being, Words that represent my innermost desire. Words that can only come true though with the next verse I want to quote.

Psalm 51:17 says, “My sacrifice, O God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”

A broken spirit so God can fill it. God has been working on my heart and on my spirit for the last few years. I’ve prayed for this–for God to work on my heart so I can be His hands and feet.

I have strongholds though. We all have strongholds, and I’m starting to think the one I have might be my thorn in the flesh. I’ve spoken of it before. My husband serves in the  media ministry of our church. He is back at the board almost every Sunday and every Wednesday night making sure things are running correctly. He even stays back there during Bible class to complete things that usually need to be done. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad he has an area of service where he is talented and comfortable. I’m so glad that it makes me feel selfish to make this next statement and makes me feel like I’m sinning by thwarting God’s will for my husband.

But, it’s hard on me having to ask someone if I can sit with them week in and week out especially if they are sitting with their families of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or even more people. It hurts when no one knows who my husband is and when I see other people with their spouses. It hurts when family is spoken of as important (Of course, it’s important.) and my family is scattered throughout the church. God is using my thoughts and my heartache though to break my spirit so He can fill it.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 states this well. “….Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I don’t know a whole lot of people who “delight in weaknesses”. I don’t delight in feeling like I’m alone at church with nowhere to serve or nowhere to sit. I want to. I want Paul’s words to seep into my heart and soul where my faith in God, in Jesus, is at the top of the list of things that matter to me. But, God also said this to Paul. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” This is true for all of us. The Lord’s grace is sufficient–It’s sufficient when you get a card at Christmas which details all the ways your family serves and only says one way in which you serve. (I tossed that one.) In case you’re wondering, I do serve in more than one way. His grace is sufficient when you are “ghosted” by people at your former church. (Google Christian ghosting.) His grace is sufficient when you can’t figure out where your place is. It is sufficient all of the time!

I also remember this as I deal with my thorn and my struggle not to be selfish. God loves me–more than my spouse, more than my kids, more than anyone else, and He is the One who gives me the capacity to love others even when I struggle!

Praying for all of us to let God fill our broken spirits today!

Advertisements